Monday, August 7, 2017

Our New Free Bathroom Cabinet -- Homemade From Pallet Wood

When I went to pick out the tiles for my new house about 2 years ago, the day that I went to pick them out I was feeling really really strange, my head was not in the right place... and I came down with some awful bug where I didn't get out of bed for a week after that. Needless to say, I didn't have the right head space for making decisions about our house, and when I finally saw some of my choices once they were installed, I kind of freaked. The bathroom especially upset me, because it was this pale yellowish brown, and I couldn't understand why I'd picked such a weird color for the bathroom...

My friend Michelle, the one who helped me with my clothes makeover, and in general is good with design things, actually pointed out to me how that color isn't so bad, its actually nice- it's the color of sand. And if I wanted to pair it with other colors, I should go in the beach direction, for a beach themed bathroom- blues like the ocean, driftwood color (light woods), and the sand colored tiles... Once I looked at it that way, I started seeing the potential, and honestly, now the room that I thought I'd hate most is one of my favorite rooms in the house- the en suite bathroom in the master bedroom.

The thing is, we have a tiny space in our bathroom. Our bedroom is also extremely small, and the bathroom is rather tiny, specifically to make more room in our dining room/living room/kitchen, and I'm totally OK with that, but it did mean we needed to come up with some creative solutions to work around it.

Our bathroom, specifically because it is so small, has a tiny sink. And I mean really tiny, to the extent that at first, when my husband installed a thin shelf above it to store things, you couldn't spit toothpaste out into the sink without hitting your head on the shelf or ducking your head beneath the shelf. Yea, it was a problem.

We needed a cupboard for under the sink and/or above the sink, some place to store things in the bathroom, but because of the size of the sink and the bathroom in general, finding something was proving to be a challenge. I saw a few options at Ikea but they were quite pricey and not the exact size we needed anyhow. There was another option at Ikea that was adjustable to size but had open shelving, something I really wanted to avoid because I abhor a cluttered look.

Mike and I discussed using pallet wood to build our own bathroom cabinet, and looked at plans on Pinterest and elsewhere.

In the end, Mike just made it himself, figuring it out as he went along.

He started by making the two sides out of pieces of pallet wood, and once those were made, he built a frame around the sink using more wood.

He used scraps of wood to fill in the top, and then made wood filler to fill in the spaces by mixing saw dust with wood glue, and filling in all the cracks.

He then attached two hinges on each side of the cabinet, and then attached one long piece of wood to each of those hinges.

At first he wasn't sure what direction he'd make the wood from the door, but since he had some leftover short pieces of wood from a different pallet wood project, he decided to put the wood horizontally, attaching each piece to the vertical wooden piece that was attached to the hinges.

No, the wood isn't perfect- he even has one piece shorter than the others, but I don't care. 

He used some knobs that we had in the house already (that I bought for a different project and then changed my mind about- they cost $3 when I bought them). 

After that?

To finish off the project, he sanded down the entire thing with an electric sander, including the top where he put his homemade wood filler.

He used silicon that he had in the house to seal between the walls and the cabinet, and between the sink and the cabinet, and then on a whim spread a thin layer of silicon over the entire upper side of the cabinet including the part right above the doors. The silicon dried clear and makes it all waterproof.


Is the project totally done? 


He still needs to add a shelf inside to make more storage room. But honestly, that's, as my South African husband would say "much of a muchness", and no reason to hold off this post.

Total cost of this project? Zero.

The wood was free. The hinges we had at home already, as we did the knobs for the door and the silicon.

I totally love this. It has literally changed the look of the bathroom so much that it's hard for me to remember what it looked like beforehand.

I think it looks quite professional, in a rustic sort of way.

I'd take this over an Ikea bathroom cabinet any day.

And it completes our bathroom. I love how the bathroom turned out.

But that? A complete view of the bathroom that is so tiny and yet so perfect? That'll be for another post.

If you like projects made from wooden pallets, here's some more things Mike made from pallets.

Have you ever built anything from wooden pallets? What was it?
Any cool DIY projects you've done lately? What were they?
If you also have a small bathroom, what did you do for bathroom storage?


  1. Wow! Impressive! I love that he gave it a go, and I think it turned out nicely!

    1. Thank you! I think so too! It's even more impressive in person.
      That's how Mike is. He gives it a go. And then he says if it doesn't work, all that was wasted was time and energy. If it hadn't worked, then we'd buy... or he'd try again. Who knows? But it came out wonderful the first time.

  2. You could look into creating a distressed-wood appearance - it's a minimal cost (high gloss white, a color or two - blue or green would be totally in line with a seascape-theme - and a stain) and it would make the cabinet look like you paid A thousand bucks for it. There are tutorials all over Pinterest and YouTube.

    No kidding on that one - there's a furniture shop that sells pieces that look like they were put together by, well, me, for at least double what you'd pay for normally. As near as I can tell the difference is that everything they make is actually semi-rusted and/or weathered, as opposed to a bit of sand and paint and stain.

  3. It totally elevates the look of the bathroom! It fits and matches your sink very well. The end table/night stand is also a real winner, too.

  4. That looks great! Your pallet projects are some of my favorite posts. :)

  5. Looks great! Will you treat the wood with something to make it mould resistant? I've had issues with the steam from the shower causing mould in wood, even though I was so careful with ventilation and keeping the wood dry!

  6. Definitely changes the look of the sink area for the better!

    Just wondering- I'm not very handy or into DIY construction projects and my husband even less so - I'd never heard of pallet wood before your blog. What is it meant for and where do you get it all from?

  7. Very cute! Fits in perfectly with a beach theme.

  8. Looks great. Wish my husband or even myself was willing to do that.

  9. Your husband has really gotten much better. I wasn't a fan of some of his early projects,the shoe box couch looked uncomfortable and amateurish,but it was great he started and keeps improving.


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